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My 1999 345 has 660 hours. The 54" deck has been some issues, but, the tractor itself...engine, etc.. has been fine. Lately, the tractor has been slowing down on going uphill. It's been real hot here...near or over 100 degrees. Just this week I was mowing in late afternoon with 97 degree heat. The tractor didn't seem to go as fast as other times. I came home...some 1/4 mile and used the water hose...cold water to spray on the transmission. The tractor went back to it's regular speed, and didn't seem to have any problems. From reading all the posts here regarding these transaxles (transmissions) problems, it appears my K70A (Tuff Torg brand) may have some issues. Over the last 11 years, I've replaced the Trans. filter and oil three times.

I called the JD dealer shortly ago, and they want $2.320.00 for a new K70A, plus sates tax and no doubt another $300.00 to $500.00 for labor installing it.

I've not checked how much my 345 is worth with the 660 hours, but, if I was betting, I would say $3,200.00 at best. If I have to replace the transaxle, it would be foolish to put $2,800.00 into a 11 old tractor. Any opinions on the if's and but's here.
 

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Can you change the oil in that transaxle? If so that might help. If not then if it was mine I would use it till it broke then look for another one. Just because it slows down on hills give it a little more throttle up the hills and back it back off going down.
 

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I'm not an expert but if it get extremely hot outside the engine may lose a bit of power and thus cause the transaxle to go slower. Just be sure the coolant is full and the radiator fins are clean. Also is the fan above the transaxle clean and the surrounding area? Dirt and grass can cake up on top of transaxle and probably reduce the cooling effect.
 

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I would also change the oil in the tranny, make sure the engine is good to go and run here till she dies then put a low hour used tranny in. I would go with a syn oil that is JD20D rated.
 

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Did you change both trans filters the paper one in the bottom and the green metal one. If you did not change the metal one when your doing it take the fenders and floor off. It is much easier to get at and you can clean the top of the transmission and the fan. If you have never cleaned them they are going to be very dirty. The fender and floor come off with about 8 bolt after you remove the peddles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Did you change both trans filters the paper one in the bottom and the green metal one. If you did not change the metal one when your doing it take the fenders and floor off. It is much easier to get at and you can clean the top of the transmission and the fan. If you have never cleaned them they are going to be very dirty. The fender and floor come off with about 8 bolt after you remove the peddles.

I have but one paper filter on the K70A. It's the bottom rear....cost $26.00
I've had the rear platform off several times...replacing the spring/clip in the hydraulic depth gauge/gear. In doing so, I alway air blow and clean the trans. fan, etc.

Are you referring the "green metal filter", the one that mid ways (center) of the tractor? Would this be part #AM120916 Hydraulic in-line fluid filter?
 

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Like others have said change the fluid and filters and clean off trans housing. How does it operate when it's not so hot and humid out? slkpk
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Like others have said change the fluid and filters and clean off trans housing. How does it operate when it's not so hot and humid out? slkpk
When I mowed with the 97 degrees, and I sprayed cold water on the trans, it seem to move faster.

First, before I get into the operations of my transmission. I only have a slight 10% incline that I mow. In fact, I wouldn't call it a hill. More like a terrace, and it is only about 20' x 300' area. I'm more concerned about the speed of the tractor, which seems to decline when the weather is hot, like I mention at the beginning of my posting.

There's no problems with the forward-neutral-reverse petal operations. I've never had one problem with "efficiency" testing, where I remove the front bumper and put the front up against a tree and apply the forward petal. The tires always spin, which tells me the transaxle is working normal.

My K70A transmission has a "shock absorber", which is attached to the control arm. In all specifications is the forward and reverse speeds, the shock absorber must be in good condition. Otherwise the speeds will be effected. There is no test to be performed on the shock absorber to tell if the unit need replacing. That is if I can find.
 

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From reading all the posts here regarding these transaxles (transmissions) problems, it appears my K70A (Tuff Torg brand) may have some issues.
Where did you read that??

I have not heard of any issues.

I recently did change to Tuff Torq's recommended fluid and not John Deeres.
 
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